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London Forum Updates

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Stirling Ackroyd reports on delivery of new homes

Posted on: 5 April 2015 at 16:28:54
The report states that the annualised rate of new homes given planning permission at 27,470 is now only two-thirds of the Mayor's 42,000 pa target for London. The GLA aim is for 49,000 homes pa.
Tower Hamlets is approving a high number of applications but Southwark's recent determination rate has been low.
In a graph of "Demand Exceeds Supply", the report indicates that the annualised rate of home starts fell in each quarter of 2014 from almost 25,000 in Q1 to just over 12,000 in Q4.

New permitted development rights and development mgt

Posted on: 5 April 2015 at 12:35:51
Communities Secretary Eric Pickles confirmed on 25th March 2015 secondary legislation which introduces General Permitted Development Rights here from 15 April 2015 as well as a newly consolidated Development Management Procedure Order here which includes streamlining the process of statutory consultation and a new “deemed discharge” of conditions to ensure that planning conditions are cleared on time.
See page 27 onwards in the former for the changes of use that are now permitted.

£50m rent rise as social housing converted

Posted on: 3 April 2015 at 13:31:15
The Guardian reports that London housing associations have responded to shortfall in government funding by recategorising tenancies so they can set rents at the highest possible level. As a result, London’s poorest households have been hit by a £50m rent rise.
The report states "Social rents are typically half market rate, while so-called affordable tariffs are up to 80% of private rents, leading to complaints that the definition of affordable is Orwellian.
Over half of the housing associations set the converted rents higher than 70% of market rate in the last recorded period in the City Hall figures. Others, determined to keep housing genuinely affordable, have charged much lower rents." 
At there is an analysis of the rents charged by housing providers. The range is from twenty of them charging from 70% up to 80% of the market rent down to 39% at Family Mosaic whose chief executive Brendan Sarsfield, said: "At Family Mosaic our goal is to help those in greatest need and, once they are our tenants, to help them into work, and keep working, in what is often a low wage economy.This makes rent levels very important to us. We have balanced this by being more efficient and making money from selling homes (for which we get criticised)."

Consultation on services of Historic England

Posted on: 2 April 2015 at 16:49:41
Historic England has just launched a consultation on Enhanced Advisory Services. The consultation is in the form of a survey monkey questionnaire. The questions for your reference are here.
The services are intended to give greater certainty to complex or time sensitive development projects and they cover:-

  • Fast-track Listing

  • Listing enhancement

  • Extended pre-application advice

  • Screening service

The details and a link to the consultation are here.

Govt. response to Select Committee on community rights

Posted on: 1 April 2015 at 19:22:42
The Select Committee investigating the Government's Community Rights programme has received a response from Government as here.
Their recommendations 13 and 15 were important and Government action on them after the elections will be monitored.  
With so much out-sourcing of services by local authorities, community engagement in the contract terms and selection (13) is important.
Investment "to enable effective community group member organisations to support local people" (15) is necessary. London's civic and community groups may have views on how useful has been the support mentioned in the paragraphs 42 and 43.  Comments to

Thames Garden Bridge Judicial Review

Posted on: 31 March 2015 at 15:47:34
There has been criticism of the cost, location, usage and impact of the Garden Bridge across the Thames.  A Judicial Review of the planning permission for it has been granted.  
The case against the bridge is here.
Please consider the points made in it and, if you support the arguments, you may wish to contribute to the costs of the action, as indicated, and to draw other people's attention to the web site at and a blog on the subject which can be seen at 

Publications for attention of the incoming Government

Posted on: 31 March 2015 at 12:05:42
At this time in the run-up to a General Election, various organisations will publish their recommendations for the future to try to influence the next Government's policies.
One is a paper here by the thinktank Institute for Public Policy Research, with a section on 'City villages: More homes, better communities' by Andrew Adonis, a former Labour cabinet minister.
It has received criticism here for the basis on which its points are made by Duncan Bowie, Senior Lecturer in Spatial Planning at University of Westminster.
There is also a pre-election statement here by the Highbury Group on Housing Delivery with policies on housing supply for the next Government.

Heritage Alliance update on the Budget and lobbying MPs

Posted on: 30 March 2015 at 21:26:47
A very comprehensive and useful update has been issued by Heritage Alliance and is here.

Data on jobs in London by sector and sub-sectors

Posted on: 29 March 2015 at 18:33:35
The GLA Intelligence Unit has published details on the types and numbers of jobs in London.

Comment on HS2 in London

Posted on: 29 March 2015 at 14:06:27
Andrew Bosi for London Forum has published comments on the 'Developing UK Rail' conference held on 4th March 2015.
London Forum opposes using Euston as the terminal for HS2 - see here.

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